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Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Paperback – April 13, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I love "oral history" style books, and this is one of the best I've ever read. At first I planned just to read everything about The Ramones (which was a lot)and not the rest. But I had so much fun reading everything else I just read it straight through. I wasn't around for the New York punk scene in the mid-late 70's, but this book gives you such a vivid idea of what it was like that I felt like I was there. I'm partial to any of the Ramones-related sections, but Dee Dee Ramone's voice really stood out. He tells enough in PKM that it could almost fill another book. He's definitely just as good of a storyteller as he is a song writer, has a good sense of humor, and his prose was definitely different. He talks about meeting his girlfriend from hell, Connie (I never thought I'd get to see a picture of the woman who inspired the Ramones song "Glad to See You Go"): "She was a hooker, I was a Ramone, and we were both junkies."
If you want gossip and dirt about the NY scene, there's plenty of good stuff. Who slept with who, who wanted to sleep with who, who back-stabbed who (sometimes literally), who didn't get along, who did what drug and how much, and much more. Even if you thought you'd read everything there was about the NY scene, or your favorite band from that time, there's stories you never heard before.Read more ›
Many younger readers may be surprised that most of the book deals with the New York City music scene. Punk has become so identified as a British import that those who weren't part of it may not realise the Brits only got going after a visit to the UK by the Ramones. CBGB's was already a very hot & happening spot, long before Johnny was Rotten!
Whether you were there or not, you will enjoy "Please Kill Me", as well as learning quite a bit from it; check it out!
While you may think about some of these icons differently after reading this book, you cannot deny the incendiary creativity and raw lust for life in these New York and Detroit punk pioneers. At times simultaneously hilarious, repulsive and depressing, this book is a fascinating historical trip through the '60's and '70's. Say what you will, but these folks walked the talk like no one else in rock and roll before or since.
Finally, the bare bones, tell-it-in-their-own-words style here is refreshing and free of over-interpretation. Like punk itself, it avoids hyperbole and reflection and just tells it like it was, warts and all. Thanks to McNeil & McCain for such a terrific read. Some recent artists who claim to be punk should read this and just be ashamed of themselves...
The book begins with the Velvet Underground and then proceeds to the founders of Punk, people like Iggy Pop and the MC5 and the New York Dolls. All the major figures on the New York scene are dealt with in detail, from Patti Smith and the Heartbreakers to the Ramones and, my favorite NYC band, Television (who I discovered after they broke up for the first time, but who I have since seen live twice in Chicago, first in 1993 and then in 2001). Not merely the great bands and performers are featured, but a lot of the people on the scene that music fans might not have been familiar with. In fact, so many people are quoted that you begin to get confused, but not to despair: there is a very helpful Cast of Characters near the end of the book.
A great book, and one that will have any fan of the New York underground music scene in the sixties and seventies rushing to pull out their old records, and perhaps to rush out and buy a few new ones.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favourite book! My first trip to NYC, I used it as a tour guide of sorts. I made it required reading for all future boyfriends, those who couldn't / wouldn't were gone (haha . Read morePublished 15 days ago by Laura Ewen
This book is full of real conversations with punkers. It is provides a candid look at this subculture.Published 19 days ago by moviegoernotbuff
What was Punk in New York in the 1970s? How alien was it from the west coast hardcore and New Jersey weirdness I grew up liking? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Erik D. Hilsinger
I bought this book for my bf for his birthday as a recommendation from an old coworker that loves punk. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elizabeth Pomeroy
A really incredible book. You can go into this knowing absolutely nothing or a lot about this topic and still learn so much. Read morePublished 2 months ago by KristinBergman
Interesting history of underground and punk, but many of the interviews veer off into unrelated territory that can become tiresome quickly. Overall, however, pretty good.Published 3 months ago by Sean Patrick Thompson